betty88 Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 8:56pm
post #1 of

My friend and I were talking today and she suggested that I should look into getting a truck to sell cupcakes from. I live in CA so I know I would have to rent a commercial kitchen but what are your thoughts on getting a truck and what would the process be? What kind of truck would i need? please help

Thanks!! icon_biggrin.gif

37 replies
Baker_Rose Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 9:12pm
post #2 of

Probably one of those food trucks you see on tv that are a kitchen on wheels. My mother just called me two days ago GUSHING about how there is a cupcake truck that comes up from a city an hour away and parks outside office buildings at lunch and how people are just flooding out to buy her cupcakes. Her description. She thought that I should just scrap my ideas on my separate kitchen and get a food truck so I could copy her. AAhh family.

But, if that is something that would work, you would have a mobile cakery. I've never been in one, but I be the space it tight!

Tami icon_smile.gif

dchockeyguy Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 9:49pm
post #3 of

Cupcake trucks don't have ovens to bake in them. Instead, they bake elsewhere and just sell out of the truck. There are several here in the area that do that. They DO tend to have a bit of a line.

I would check to see if there are any in CA where you are. I would imagine LA, at a minimum, probably already has one. And CA has some strict laws about the trucks and how you have to care for them. I saw a show about it once, and they have to be parked together every night and foods come out of a commissary. But that may not apply if you aren't doing real cooking inside the truck.

SweetSuzieQ Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 10:03pm
post #4 of

Hubby and I were talking about a cupcake truck just last week. I think it would do really really well and, told him it was something I was seriously considering looking into.

There is a real food truck craze right now so, I bet it would be a hit if you find the right areas. I would also say it would help to come up with something unique to sell along with the cupcakes since people seem to really eat that up. The show Kid in a Candy Shop featured a food truck selling cupcake ice cream cones, dessert nachos, etc.

jason_kraft Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 10:29pm
post #5 of

There is a ton of overhead involved in this (buy the truck, staff it, get a permit for the truck, get a permit for the commercial kitchen, pay for commercial kitchen rent, etc.) so make sure you have an airtight business plan.

leah_s Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 12:38pm
post #6 of

Most food trucks are a P20 or P30 (like a UPS/FedEx body style). You can also try to find used postal vans, but they are right hand drive, just be aware. There was the *cutest* green postal van for sale in CA last week. You can also vend (not bake, not enough room) out of a camper or high top van.

SweetSuzieQ Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 12:54pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Most food trucks are a P20 or P30 (like a UPS/FedEx body style). You can also try to find used postal vans, but they are right hand drive, just be aware. There was the *cutest* green postal van for sale in CA last week. You can also vend (not bake, not enough room) out of a camper or high top van.




Very good point! Hey, that has gotten me thinking...we own an ambulance (hubby's business), I wonder if I can use it when he isn't! LMFAO. "Our cupcakes are sooo good they'll make you pass out so, we came prepared!" (Lest somebody think I'm serious, I'm ony jokin)

MimiFix Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 1:24pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by betty88

My friend and I were talking today and she suggested that I should look into getting a truck to sell cupcakes from. I live in CA so I know I would have to rent a commercial kitchen but what are your thoughts on getting a truck and what would the process be? What kind of truck would i need? please help

Thanks!! icon_biggrin.gif




Betty, are you currently in business? Jason (as always) has an excellent response. Make sure you understand this business before moving ahead. Food trucks appear to be simpler than they really are. And they're the fad right now, which means the market is near saturation.

betty88 Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 2:30pm
post #9 of

Thank you all for your input!
seems like i have a whole lot of thinking and planning to do before anything.

thanks again! have a great FRIDAY thumbs_up.gif

leah_s Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 2:39pm

Fortunately the food truck craze has just hit my city.

#strike while the iron is hot

imagenthatnj Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 3:49pm

Cupcake trucks do have ovens to bake in them. I work in NYC and at least the Sweet Treats (now Sweetery) truck parked on the street in front of our building, has an oven. I've been there to ask for a chocolate chip cookie for example, and she's told me that it's just out of the oven and to handle with care because it's delicate.

I know I have pictures of their oven inside their truck, but I can't find them right now. Maybe there's one here.

http://sweeterynyc.com/photos

And here's an article on how they are equipped.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/united-states/new-york-rapidly-growing-food-truck-industry-rallies-56696.html

betty88 Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 8:26pm

imagenthatnj
thank you soo much for those links!!! that truck is soo awesome! i would love something like that icon_smile.gif

thank you again!!! icon_biggrin.gif

leah_s Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 8:47pm

Since I have a permitted kitchen, I can bake there.

imagenthatnj Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 8:58pm

You're welcome. By the way, they sell more than dessert these days. They have finger sandwiches and soups and quiches. Everything is very expensive, but really good, and when it comes to an orange curd filled brioche that Le Pain Quotidien doesn't have (they park right in front of them!) nobody cares about how much. There's always a line.

Oh, and there's that other famous truck around here: Dessert Truck. Three chefs quit their jobs at Le Cirque and started it. But I think they bake at their kitchen downtown.

http://www.dt-works.net/

And....lots of trucks in CA.

http://www.facebook.com/MVBLfeast

OhMyGanache Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 9:04pm

You can also just haul a trailer around. Airstream trailers are very popular for selling cupcakes out of.

SweetSuzieQ Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 9:24pm

Here's the one we have here in Toronto. It is very cutesy.

http://cupcakediner.ca/

imagenthatnj Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 9:45pm

Oh, pretty!! She doesn't bake there, of course. I see that she has a separate location, too.

I think the good thing about having the kitchen in the truck is that you don't have to rent a commercial kitchen (in the case of the OP). But I really wouldn't know how that works in CA...or around here, anyway.

I know about Holy Cacao in Austin, TX, for cake pops. I saw them on the Food Network.

http://www.theholycacao.com/photo-gallery/

It's an epidemic. lol

betty88 Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 9:51pm

this is all great icon_smile.gif it really inspires me! i would love to have the truck with the oven inside..thinking maybe more of a dessert/breakfast type. sweets and breakfast foods in the morning...have coffe juice and water..then maybe a desserts in the later afternoons? not too sure yet. it would definately been in the future as i do not have the money to get things started :'(
but i am very serious about doing it

OhMyGanache Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 10:30pm

Check your local craigslist. There are always trucks listed in my area for sale - some of them have been ridiculously cheap. In the Business for Sale section, search for the words concession, taco, lunch & catering (separately) and see what comes up.

betty88 Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 10:58pm

thank you! i will do that soon for sure icon_smile.gif

lorieleann Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 3:26am

another thing to think about is that even if you bake in the truck, you usually will still have to have a commercial commissary kitchen where you prep and store. Because mobile trucks turn off at some point, there is a need for proper refrigeration when the truck isn't in use.

jenbug_8806 Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 4:02am

I work for a cupcake truck here in CA. We bake and frost all of our cupcakes in a commercial kitchen. Then we just load up the cupcakes and take them to sell on the truck. Food trucks are so hot right now in this area, that they all do really great business. And I've heard cheaper to have a food truck then to have an actual storefront.

betty88 Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 10:31pm

jenbug_8806

how would i start the process of havinig a cupcake truck?

djbookkeeper Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 5:56am

Cupcake trucks are cute! We have several here in Austin.
Keep in mind the fuel costs when you're creating your business plan. I did the books for a food truck and the fuel cost for them was equivalent to 20% of what they spent on product!

MimiFix Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 11:02am
Quote:
Originally Posted by betty88

jenbug_8806

how would i start the process of havinig a cupcake truck?




Write a business plan, set up your business to comply with all rules and regs, find a commercial kitchen, purchase and outfit a truck, refine your recipes for quantity production, hire employees, cross your fingers and hope it all works... For details, read several of the business books currently available.

Good luck and keep us updated!

betty88 Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 6:44pm

thank you all icon_biggrin.gif

MimiFix Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 6:53pm

betty88 - When we look at the entire process, it can seem daunting. But if you have enough capital and the will to persevere, just take it step-by-step. Do one small part and then another. Eventually you'll have that truck.... In the meantime, have you thought about working for one of these businesses? That experience would help you not only learn some of the steps but also help you decide if it's what you really want.

karukaru Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 6:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

There is a ton of overhead involved in this (buy the truck, staff it, get a permit for the truck, get a permit for the commercial kitchen, pay for commercial kitchen rent, etc.) so make sure you have an airtight business plan.




I was thinking about the food trucks but when I did some research I also found you need all if those things so it is cost prohibited for me at the moment. icon_sad.gif

chilicat57 Posted 4 Sep 2011 , 9:15pm

I have been researching this over the past year ... There is no way you can mix, bake, cool, decorated and store enough cupcakes on a food truck to make any money. You need to have a separate location to do all that, load your truck and go sell them ... besides a nice hot cookie out of the oven is not that same as a hot cupcake, hot cookies don't need to cool that much, don't need to be decorated and the dough can be stored in a cooler and baked on location, you just can't do that with cupcake batter.

As for the truck itself, you can get something as small as a Dodge Sprinter and have it customized for around $30K, you really don't need to invest in a huge truck unless you are going to offer other types of dessert and do some baking in the truck.

I agree with Jason, unless you have a business plan, know your area you plan to market in and have a partner to help with everything, don't waste your time or money. The best place to test your product & market is at a local farmer's market or holiday markets. Good Luck and we hope to see you on the street some day icon_biggrin.gif

dar4657 Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 5:16pm

On a recent visit to Chicago - I came across a very long line around one downtown block - when I got closer I discovered a van parked on the side of the road with a "window" open - selling cupcakes - I couldn't resist. I waited and discovered the van was filled with racks and racks of cupcakes. She had already sold out of several flavors. She was even set up to take credit cards. Cupcakes were not baked in this van. Check out: Flirtycupcakes.com

HTH

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